Change in Addiction and Recovery
I have often heard counselors say that “If you want things to change, then change some things”. The concept sounds so easy, but it can sometimes be so hard. In our addiction we did not want to change because we felt we could not live without whatever we were using. We were fearful that we would not, or could not, have any fun. We did not want to change because we felt safe. We might have been miserable, our lives might have been falling apart, but we knew what to expect and that felt safer than the fear of the unknown. So we stayed right where we were and life became more and more unmanageable. Then one day by some divine providence or simply a moment of clarity we decided something had to change. We embarked on our new journey. Sure it was scary and the road was not always smooth, but we knew that the end result had to be better than what we were leaving behind.
Deciding to change was one thing, now we had to do it. Many of us exclaimed, “What an order! I can’t go through with it.” But we were not discouraged. We went about the process with the help of others. We were painstaking about this phase of our development and numerous positive things began to materialize. Looking back we asked ourselves, “Why did I ever wait so long?” We let the fear of change paralyze us into inaction. We had become complacent in our misery simply because we knew what to expect. Through all that we had finally accomplished something we never thought possible. We are finally sober…now what?
Not thinking about it we went about our lives and comfortably fell into a groove. All of us have dreams and aspirations. Places we want to go and things we want to do. Life begins to pass day by day. We keep thinking about what we are going to do, but we never get around to it. The same safe feeling that kept us in place a long time ago was keeping us from moving again. The consequences for inaction are far less, but we limit ourselves by becoming complacent. We feel that everything is safe, and we forget to take healthy chances, and in doing so don’t get to where we aspire to be.
Making those changes, or taking those healthy chances can be hard. Change is always scary, but the rewards can be more than we could have ever imagined. We have overcome our character defects of the past, but some of them, such as, “safe complacency”, can keep us stuck in the past. Don’t let the feelings of safety prevent you from reaching your dreams. We have accomplished so much there is no reason to let an old behavior hold us back. Reach out and grab your gold.
- Terry experiencing change and joy at EAI’s 2011 Houston Run For Recovery